Thursday, March 09, 2006

Flogging Molly

A Wonder and a Wild Desire
Showbox, Seattle, WA

Maybe it's due to the fact that the crowd is all-ages, but the fashion here tonight is ADORABLE. You have your Guiness ball caps, "I (clover) Ireland" t-shirts, the odd NIN and Pogues garment for a handy RIYL, some lovely tattoos and ear bolt thingies on the huskier boys, and those dang caps which I only know as driving caps. I picture one of these kids 25 years from now showing his teenager a photo from this show and the teen replying, "you mean you've been wearing your crappy driving cap since you were SEVENTEEN?"

At first it doesn't look like the dancing maelstrom is under supervision, but eventually we see a giant security guy loom into the crowd for a private conference with one show-goer. Two other bouncers come over for the meeting which now involves flashlights and intimidation, and soon the offender is being escorted out of the venue. NOW the audience is daddyless, as apparently it takes three security guys to get one 19-year-old out of the room.

Kids pile on top of each other to crowd surf, some with fascinating techniques: the scissor legs that somehow stick straight up in the air; the corpse pose with hooked ankles; the ass-over-teakettle flip; and the body bounce, where the surfer is literally flung into the air, hopefully to waiting hands. A few people disappear to a hard landing somewhere under the crowd, but most pop right back up for another go. Once in a while the bouncers pour water directly into the mouths of quickly dehydrating dancers.

Eventually we end up in the bar area/dance floor overlook. The band members routinely issue Hands Up/Arms Up commands, and the audience turns into a beautiful macro wheat field. Their participation and exuberant singing-along is so satisfying to us that it must feel like a narcotic to the band. I am shocked to learn later that Flogging Molly only has four albums; some of these fans attend shows with a Dead-like reverence.

My spot is right next to the bouncer checking IDs for the bar area. While any guy over 24 is completely unselfconscious about having an ID verified, the girls react in one of four ways, ranked by their age:

1. Blase glance away since they aren't used to being legal yet (21-23)
2. "I've been over 21 for like FOUR YEARS" deadpan (24-27)
3. Defensive "are you kidding me?" smirk (28-32)
4. Cheery "of course, and don't I look fabulous?" smile (33-)

Tonight we are all members of the cheery set, however. Flogging Molly dishes out an excellent performance to a crowd that is already in love. It's a match made in Dublin.


Anonymous Roger said...

When I get carded, as still happens from time to time, I like to watch the guy do a double, triple take and give me that "dude, no WAY!!" look. My brief glee is typically then transformed to shame as I realize I am once again entering an establishment frequented by people nearly half my age, because I refuse to grow up.

11:56 PM  

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